Guidance on the severity of disability for Child Disability Allowance

Some disorders can vary in severity from mild to serious, in these cases, the diagnosis alone is not sufficient to determine if the child qualifies for the child disability allowance.

Other disorders may not be expected to improve, but as the child or young person gets older and is able to manage them more effectively, their need for care may diminish. These types of circumstances should be considered when recommending a time period to review the Child Disability Allowance.

To help determine if the child or young person meets the criteria for the Child Disability Allowance, we have provided the following examples

Examples of disorders that are always likely to qualify for Child Disability Allowance include:

  • degenerative neurological conditions (eg Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) suggested reviewperiod: Never
  • syndromes that cause intellectual disability and significant impairments in self-care and behaviour (eg Downs Syndrome)
    suggested review period: Never.

Examples of disorders that can vary in severity include:

  • Asthma

    • Jane is a 12-year-old girl with severe asthma who needs reliever inhalers administered two to four times a day, is too unwell to attend school several times each month, cannot play sport and has sudden asthma attacks requiring emergency hospital care four to six times per year. Jane's health condition creates significant family disruption.
      • Jane is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
      • Suggested review period - two years.
    • Mere is a 10-year-old girl with asthma who needs a preventer inhaler administered twice a day. She infrequently gets wheezy, plays hockey, and has needed oral steroids from her GP once this year.
      • Mere is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

    • John is a four-year-old boy with autism who has no speech, behaviour that is difficult to manage and requires constant close supervision.
      • John is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
      • Suggested review period - five years.
    • Adam is a 14-year-old boy with Asperger Syndrome, who is coping with some social dysfunction and is in a mainstream school. He is independent with self-care and his behaviour is no more challenging for his parents to manage than that of his peers.
      • Adam is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
  • Cerebral Palsy

    • Fiona is an eight-year-old who has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. She needs splints and crutches to walk, or uses a wheelchair. She requires assistance with getting dressed.
      • Fiona is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
      • Suggested review period - five years.
    • Philip is an 11-year-old boy with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. He can walk and run, but has a slight limp. His left arm is weaker than his right, but he writes well and is independent with dressing.
      • Philip is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
  • Diabetes Mellitus

    • Sarah is an eight-year-old who has insulin dependent diabetes. She requires her parent to administer multiple injections each day, closely supervise and regulate her normal activities such as eating and exercise and cope with frequent complications requiring medical intervention.
      • Sarah is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
      • Suggested review period - five years.
    • Peter is an obese 14-year-old with glucose intolerance. He is required to closely monitor his diet and avoid sweets and soft drinks. He currently has no other medical complications.
      • Peter is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
  • Allergies

    • Kiri is a five-year-old girl who has a severe allergy to dairy products. She has constant eczema to her face and trunk. When exposed to milk products she becomes wheezy and flushed. She has required hospitalisation three times in the past year.
      • Kiri is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
      • Suggested review period - two years.
    • Stuart is a 12-year-old boy who has had an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting while playing in the school yard a year ago. He now carries an Epi-pen with him at all times. He wears a medic alert bracelet.
      • Stuart is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
  • Skin conditions

    • James is a six-year-old boy who has atopic eczema to his trunk and limbs. He requires daily dressings to affected areas and takes regular anti-histamine medication. He requires short courses of oral steroids when the eczema flares up. His skin condition means he is distracted and has difficulty getting to sleep. He is limited in his outdoor activities because of his dressings and constant irritation from his skin condition.
      • James is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
      • Suggested review period - 2 years.
    • Leanne is 14-year-old girl who has psoriasis to her scalp and hands. She applies daily topical medication and takes the occasional medicated bath. Although conscious of her appearance, she is otherwise well and enjoys an active life
      • Leanne is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.

    For more information, please contact your local health and disability co-ordinator.